Tag: Josh Reddick

Josh Reddick to Astros: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Veteran outfielder Josh Reddick has reached an agreement with the Houston Astros, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday.

Passan noted the deal is for $52 million over four seasons.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed Reddick will sign with the Astros, pending a physical.

Reddick is a streaky player, but his net impact on a team has almost always been positive. He’s accumulated 15.9 WAR across eight seasons, and he’s rated above replacement level every year except 2009, when he played just 27 games for the Boston Red Sox in his debut campaign, per FanGraphs.

The 29-year-old Georgia native split the 2016 season between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. He posted a career-high .345 on-base percentage in 115 games but racked up just 10 home runs, his lowest total since 2011.

His up-and-down play was on full display after he joined the Dodgers in a midseason trade. He hit just .161 with a miserable .395 OPS in August before rebounding with a strong September to help the club clinch a playoff berth by winning the National League West.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times highlighted the type of production the outfielder can provide when he’s in a zone at the plate:

Interestingly, Reddick told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register the resurgence wasn’t about making changes but rather sticking to his normal routine until he broke out of the slump.

“I learned that probably last year,” he said. “For the most part, when I’m going well, my cage work is limited to almost none at all. Pregame, right before the game, I go in there and do my routine.”

Another thing he didn’t spend much time thinking about was his impending foray into the free-agent market. He explained his mindset early in the season, per Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com.

“I’m one of the guys that doesn’t think about that,” Reddick said. “I’m not going into the box thinking, ‘If I don’t get this run in, or I don’t get this amount of home runs, I’m not going to be the free-agent player I need to be.’ That’s just something I’ve put very far back in my mind.”

The plan worked. Even with the drop-off in the power department, Reddick’s overall performance allowed him to maintain his value.

In the end, Reddick is heading to his third team in the past year. The upside is that going through the transition of joining the Dodgers should make the latest change of scenery easier to deal with during spring training.

Now the question is whether Reddick can put everything together. He’s shown the ability to hit for power, with 32 homers in 2012, and he recorded a strong on-base percentage this past season. If he combines those, he could be a bargain.

It’s a risk worth taking for the Astros. Even if he doesn’t have a huge year at the plate, he’ll likely be a solid hitter who plays plus defense, and that combination carries plenty of value.


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MLB Free Agents 2017: Rumors, Predictions for Josh Reddick, Carlos Beltran, More

Major League Baseball’s signing season hasn’t ramped up just yet, but there’s plenty of chatter floating around that could serve as a good indicator of where several of the market’s most coveted players will land.

From corner outfielders to relievers on the comeback trail and ageless designated hitters, there are free agents aplenty who can help contenders make leaps in 2017.

So as the hot stove heats up, here’s a rundown of the latest buzz from around MLB


Orioles Pursuing Reddick 

The Baltimore Orioles are in need of corner outfield reinforcements, so it makes sense that they’re getting in on the Josh Reddick sweepstakes.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Orioles are pursuing the 29-year-old after he batted a career-high .281 during a 2016 season that saw him split his time between the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers.

On both sides of the ball, Reddick makes sense for the Orioles. 

He’s historically crushed the ball at Camden Yards and owns a lifetime OPS of 1.167 in Baltimore, according to Morosi. That mark is his highest at any MLB park, per Baseball-Reference.com, and it complements some other outrageous stats at the hitter-friendly park. 

All told, Reddick has compiled five home runs, 12 RBI and a .400 batting average in 24 career games at Camden Yards. 

Defensively, Reddick would also add value next to center fielder Adam Jones. 

According to FanGraphs, Reddick ranked sixth among all MLB right fielders last season (minimum 300 innings played) with six defensive runs saved. Only Mookie Betts, Adam Eaton, Jason Heyward, Nick Markakis and Ezequiel Carrera posted superior totals. 

Morosi also noted the Toronto Blue Jays have interest in Reddick since Jose Bautista, according to Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman, will reportedly decline the team’s $17.2 million qualifying offer. 

And while Reddick makes sense for both American League East contenders, his history of hitting the cover off the ball in Baltimore should make the Orioles the leader in the clubhouse for the time being. 

Prediction: Reddick signs three-year deal with the Orioles


Red Sox Interested in Beltran

Age evidently isn’t going to slow Carlos Beltran down. 

During his age-39 season, which was split between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, Beltran clobbered 29 home runs and tallied 93 RBI—his highest totals in both categories since he was named an All-Star during the 2012 campaign. 

Beyond his impressive power, Beltran also batted .295 with a .337 on-base percentage. Not surprisingly, those numbers have at least one pennant contender interested in his services. 

According to ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber, a league source disclosed the Boston Red Sox want Beltran “badly.”

Might boil down to whether Beltran wants more than a one-year guarantee,” Lauber wrote. “Unclear at this point. Regardless, Beltran wasn’t subjected to qualifying offer by virtue of getting traded during season, so signing team won’t have to cough up first-round pick.

The Red Sox are in need of a new full-time designated hitter following David Ortiz’s retirement, and the soon-to-be 40-year-old Beltran would seem to be a perfect fit.

However, the Red Sox will likely have to compete with at least one other AL club in order to land the aged slugger. 

The New York Daily News‘ Mark Feinsand reported the Houston Astros are “hot” for Beltran, and the rising AL West squad could have appeal to Beltran after he spent 2004 in H-Town. 

When it comes time to make a decision, the chance to win a World Series should steer Beltran toward the Red Sox—who already have the pieces and pitching staff necessary to help him capture that elusive championship ring. 

Prediction: Beltran signs two-year deal including club option with Boston


Boston Hoping to Lock Down Holland? 

Greg Holland missed the 2016 season after he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, but that hasn’t prevented a slew of clubs from kicking the tires on him in free agency.

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, “the Red Sox are among the most aggressive suitors for the free agent relievers. There are, however, ‘several teams’ that are showing a similar level of interest.”

A two-time All-Star, Holland was one of MLB’s most consistent closers during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He recorded 93 saves during that span and posted sub-1.50 ERAs over the course of those two stellar years. 

However, a recent post-surgery showcase left lingering questions regarding his future effectiveness. 

According to the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, Holland’s fastball clocked in between 89 and 90 mph during the audition. That was concerning, namely because his career fastball average before hitting the shelf was 95.5 mph, per FanGraphs

“He had good extension, which suggests he is healthy,” a scout told Sherman. “This is his fastball in November, 13 months after surgery—it will be something else in spring training. But this is the key now: What does he look like in four months? That is really what you are trying to figure out.”

If there’s good news for Holland, it’s that he doesn’t necessarily need an overpowering fastball thanks to his reliable slider. 

“The Greg Holland slider was front and center,” Holland’s agent, Scott Boras, said, per Sherman. “The reaction should be pretty positive after that. He just had to illustrate that he was healthy because when he has been healthy, he has been elite.”

Bradford cited the Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals as other teams that could chase Holland, but he noted “it is unclear which clubs have the same level of intent as the Red Sox.”

And after closer Craig Kimbrel struggled throughout the second half of the season, adding a contingency plan like Holland makes all the sense in the world for the Red Sox. 

Prediction: Holland signs two-year deal with the Red Sox


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless noted otherwise. 

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Josh Reddick Removed from Dodgers Lineup After Injuring Finger on Hotel Door

There are a number of ways a baseball player might injure a finger. Ordering room service at a hotel isn’t traditionally one of them.

But that was the case for Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Josh Reddick, who hurt a finger while holding his door open for a room-service cart, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. Reddick was scratched from the starting lineup Monday because of discomfort he experienced while throwing a ball.

Reddick pinch hit in the fifth inning of Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, however, so it appears as though his injury won’t keep him out of the starting lineup for long. That’s good news for the Dodgers, who held a one-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West following Monday’s 18-9 win.

The Dodgers and Giants open a three-game series Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Reddick, 29, is hitting just .149 with one double in 18 games since the Dodgers acquired him from the Oakland Athletics ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.

“I’m at rock-bottom right now,” Reddick said, per McCullough. “But I will climb out.”

In 68 games with the A’s this season, Reddick hit .296 with eight home runs and 28 RBI. In 2015, he notched 20 home runs and 77 RBI while hitting .272 for Oakland.

With Reddick sidelined, Andrew Toles stepped into the starting lineup and went 2-for-5 with his first big league home run and four RBI. Los Angeles won 18-9.


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Rich Hill, Josh Reddick to Dodgers: Twitter Reacts to Reported Trade

With the team not quite hitting expectations in 2016, the Oakland Athletics dealt outfielder Josh Reddick and pitcher Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes and Jharel Cotton on Monday, the Dodgers announced:

Joel Sherman of the New York Post commented on the deal:

The postseason isn’t a mathematical impossibility for Oakland, but the playoff door has all but closed on the A’s. They’re 47-58 on the year, 14.5 games back of the Texas Rangers in the American League West and 11 games out of a wild-card spot heading into Monday’s slate of games.

As a result, Reddick was a natural candidate to move ahead of the trade deadline. The 29-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent in 2017, per Spotrac, and the Athletics haven’t hesitated in the past to deal veteran stars they weren’t confident of re-signing in the offseason. 

He also has a fair amount of value. In 243 at-bats, he’s hitting .296 with eight home runs, 28 runs batted in and a .449 slugging percentage. 

Buster Olney of ESPN noted the deal might mean the end of Yasiel Puig’s time in Los Angeles:

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports expounded on that point:

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Susan Slusser reported on July 9 the A’s and Reddick had discussions on a new contract but couldn’t come to an agreement. Reddick wanted a four-year deal worth $56 million, while Oakland offered him $36 million over three years.

While the left-handed slugger has become a fan favorite in the Bay Area and has been productive at the plate, it’s easy to see why the Athletics would balk at giving him a four-year contract.

He’ll turn 30 in February, and durability has been a major issue over the last four years. Between 2013 and 2014, Reddick missed a combined 101 games as a result of a sprained wrist and a knee injury. Then in May, he fractured his thumb on a slide into second base:

And for all of Reddick’s progress as a hitter, he remains a massive liability against left-handed pitching. His performance against lefties in 2016 (.172 average) is even below his career average (.222), per Baseball-Reference.com.

Hill, 36, is 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He’s emerged as a surprise borderline All-Star after compiling a total of four starts between 2010 and 2015. While few have ever questioned his talent, Hill has been a regular on the disabled list and seemed to be at a loss when it came to staying on the field over the last half decade. 

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe highlighted how far he’s come:

Oakland also needs to restock its farm system after selling off much of its best minor league stars to build a contending team from 2012 to 2014. Baseball Prospectus ranked the A’s organization 17th to start the 2016 season.

Holmes and Montas are the two prizes of the deal. Holmes was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2014, and at age 20, he has shown real promise as a power pitcher. Montas, 23, is much closer to making a big league impact, having made his MLB debut last September before returning to the minors for 2016. He’s gone through an injury-plagued campaign but was still one of the best prospects in L.A.’s system.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was impressed by the A’s haul:

Ted Berg of For the Win weighed in:

Based on his injury history, trading for Reddick is a slight gamble for the Dodgers. Los Angeles is also running the risk of parting with valuable assets now and then watching Reddick sign with somebody else in the offseason.

All things considered, though, the Dodgers couldn’t have realistically found a much better way to improve their offense ahead of the deadline. Reddick is a good hitter when healthy, and players of his caliber are available in short supply at this time of the year.

A deep run in the postseason will more than justify the cost for Los Angeles, even if Reddick proves to be a half-season rental.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Chris Archer, Jonathan Lucroy and More

With time running out until MLB‘s non-waiver trade deadline, nearly half of the league is sandwiched together atop the standings.

Fourteen teams have accumulated at least 50 victories. Shortly before the non-waiver trade window shuts on Aug. 1, a clear line divides the contenders and pretenders. Given the parity at the top, every playoff hopeful can convince itself that one or two shrewd moves will catalyze a championship run.

Such a climate could create chaos over the next 10 days. Some of the most popular trade candidates remain on the rumor mill, even if all of them aren’t veterans on expiring contracts.

Their availability might be only for show, but let’s examine the latest buzz on some of baseball’s best players on the market.


Chris Archer

If there’s a player a small-market seller shouldn’t shop, it’s a 27-year-old ace, especially not when he’s on the books for a team-friendly contract through 2021. And especially not during a down year.

A year after registering a 3.23 ERA and 252 strikeouts for the Tampa Bay Rays, Chris Archer has posted an inflated 4.60 ERA in 2016. He’s on the hook for an MLB-worst 13 losses, only two of which qualified as quality starts.

It’s a poor time for Tampa Bay to move a struggling franchise centerpiece, but an anonymous team executive expressed confidence that the Los Angeles Dodgers would land him, per ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark:

Even if the Rays deal Archer, don’t expect them to sell low. Stark clarified their high asking price, which makes a move feel less certain than the previous source suggested:

Will the Dodgers pay up? Per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, an executive said they “have almost no choice but to overpay for a controllable starter such as Archer or [Chris] Sale,” with ace Clayton Kershaw possibly needing surgery. Another source previously told Rosenthal the Chicago White Sox turned down a “king’s ransom” for their rotation anchor.

If motivated to stay in playoff contention without Kershaw, the Dodgers have a deep enough farm system for an aggressive move. Top pitching prospects Jose De Leon, Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas could grab Tampa Bay’s attention. The crown jewel of their young talent, 19-year-old Julio Urias, would especially force the Rays to consider a blockbuster move.

Despite his 2016 struggles, Archer remains a top-shelf arm who has punched out 147 batters over 123.1 innings. Unless the Dodgers make a Godfather offer, he’ll stay put, with Matt Moore or Jake Odorizzi potentially moving instead.


Jonathan Lucroy

Milwaukee Brewers teammate Ryan Braun is a flashier household name, but Jonathan Lucroy stirs more excitement among contenders. The 30-year-old catcher is hitting .301/.357/.484 during a bounce-back year, and few peers garner more respect for their defensive work.

A $5.25 million club option for 2017—chump change for an elite two-way catcher—fortifies his trade value but allows Milwaukee the flexibility to stand pat if no offer whets its whistle. As a cheap upgrade for every team besides the San Francisco Giants, he’ll draw plenty of eager admirers before Aug. 1.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported the Cleveland Indians are one such suitor:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Tom Haudricourt added that the two sides will expand those negotiations to include relievers: 

Contrary to Olney‘s tweet, Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes reported Michael Brantley’s latest setback won’t intensify Cleveland’s pursuit of offensive help. Yet it’s reasonable to expect the American League Central leaders to address the worst catching production in baseball. 

Yet Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball dampened the likelihood of a transaction. 

“While an Indians person confirmed they talked about Lucroy, that possibility was downplayed, which makes sense since the Indians probably want to save their bullets for pitching,” Heyman wrote.

The Indians boast one of baseball’s premier rotations, but their bullpen is a sore spot, aside from Dan Otero and closer Cody Allen. Baseball Prospectus gives them an 97.3 percent chance of making the playoffs, so they should give serious thought to obtaining Lucroy and bullpen help from Milwaukee.


Jay Bruce and Josh Reddick

Not every maneuver needs to set the baseball community ablaze. For teams needing an offensive boost in a corner-outfield slot, Jay Bruce and Josh Reddick represent sensible choices who shouldn’t command top-flight prospects in return.

Since they fit the same role, it’s natural for their markets to intertwine. According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, a few teams are eyeing both sluggers:

Boasting a .528 slugging percentage and 19 homers, Bruce represents the grander offensive upgrade. A $13 million club option for next year also tacks on more future worth than Reddick‘s expiring contract. Yet any buyer must consider the defensive repercussions.

Because of his minus-12.3 ultimate zone rating, the worst mark of any outfielder, Bruce grades out as a replacement-level player despite his demonstrative power. The Dodgers might be desperate enough for the power, and the Cubs could mask his shortcomings with baseball’s best defense. Heyman tossed the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals into the mix as well.

Reddick is no defensive wizard, and he has delivered significantly less power, with six long balls for the Oakland Athletics. The 29-year-old also, however, wields a higher weighted runs created-plus mark (121) than the Cincinnati Reds bruiser (117) thanks to his keen batting eye.

Per the San Francisco Chronicle‘s John Shea, Reddick indicated he “would love to” remain in Oakland. 

“It’s kind of disheartening something hasn’t been worked out so far, and we’ve been four months into it. It is what it is,” he said.

Oakland has rarely shown loyalty to its tenured players, so expect Reddick to go when the last-place franchise unloads before the deadline. He’s a two-month rental who can help a handful of contenders.


Note: All advanced stats courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. Contract information obtained from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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Josh Reddick Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Athletics Outfielder

Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick is playing under a one-year, $6.6 million contract, per Spotrac

With Major League Baseball’s Aug. 1 trade deadline approaching, Reddick could be dealt within the next three weeks if he and the Athletics don’t improve their contract negotiations. 

Continue for updates.

Likelihood of Trading Reddick Increasing

Sunday, July 10

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland and Reddick haven’t picked up contract talks since spring training: “The outfielder was offered a three-year, $36 million deal during the spring, sources confirmed, and Reddick’s representatives countered with four years and $56 million, which is considered below Reddick’s market value by at least $5 million to $10 million.”

The 29-year-old outfielder is on pace for a career-high batting average, as he’s recorded a .296 mark through 52 games. However, his power numbers have dipped, with just five home runs, compared to 20 last season. 

Reddick has seen a vast decrease in power since a monster 2012 season in which he launched a career-best 32 home runs. In the following two seasons, he hit a combined 24. 

This season has come with an unexpected break, though, after he suffered a fractured thumb May 19. He landed on the disabled list the following day and did not return until June 28. 

Still, the dip in power and injury concerns haven’t impacted his value much. Per Slusser, some believe that Reddick could receive a $100 million deal thanks to the lack of outfield talent that is projected to hit the free-agent market during the winter:

He has plenty of interest, too. According to Slusser, the Kansas City Royals are “closely” following him, while the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals are also believed to be keeping an eye on him.

With that kind of attention, the Athletics should be able to find a trade partner, but it’s imperative that they get the right pieces. Oakland was 38-50 entering Sunday and already 15.5 games out of first place in the American League West.

One possible problem to address is pitching, as the Athletics staff ranks as the fifth-worst in the majors with a 4.77 ERA.

Putting a player like Reddick on the trade block could yield a solid return that should help Oakland start rebuilding its roster.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Josh Reddick Injury: Updates on Athletics Star’s Thumb and Recovery

Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick suffered a fractured thumb during his team’s 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday. He’s been placed on the disabled list, and it’s unclear when he will return.

Continue for updates.

Reddick Placed on 15-Day DL

Friday, May 20

The Athletics announced they recalled Jake Smolinski from Triple-A to take Reddick’s spot on the active roster.

Latest on Reddick’s Recovery Timeline

Thursday, May 19

Jane Lee of MLB.com reported the Athletics will need to wait for the outfielder to see a hand specialist before they determine how long he will be out. However, she noted that “Reddick believes he’ll be out at least four to six weeks.”

Reddick drilled his fifth home run of the season before exiting the game. He scored Oakland’s only run in a lackluster offensive effort. The outfielder hit 20 long balls in 2015 and adds power to the middle of the Athletics lineup.

Reddick Provides Athletics With Middle-of-the-Lineup Power

Losing Reddick for the amount of time he expects to be out for would be a blow because he is off to a quick start for Oakland.

Entering play Thursday, he was hitting .315 with an impressive OPS of .830. Both of those numbers would mark career bests if they hold, as he has never posted a batting average better than .280 or an OPS better than .784.

The Athletics will likely turn to Chris Coghlan in right field while Reddick is out. Coghlan is a versatile defender who can play the corner outfield spots or second base, but Tyler Ladendorf can occupy second in this scenario.

Coghlan has struggled with his bat in the early going and was hitting a mere .168 as of Thursday. However, he has flashed some power with five home runs and is coming off a solid year for the Chicago Cubs in 2015, when he hit 16 home runs and tallied 41 RBI. He was responsible for a career-best 1.9 offensive WAR in 2015, per ESPN.com.

The Athletics will need him to carry the load until Reddick returns as they chase the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers in the American League West.

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Josh Reddick Shares Photo of A’s Flying on Plane with Giants Logo

The Oakland Athletics finished off a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 2-1 win on the road Sunday night and prepared to hop on a plane to return home for a series against the Los Angeles Angels.

However, outfielder Josh Reddick wasn’t thrilled to fly on this particular aircraft:

It’s hard to blame him, considering the rival San Francisco Giants logo was plastered across the front of it. The Giants noticed Reddick’s post and decided to have some fun of their own on Twitter, but Reddick wasn’t willing to let it go without again voicing his disapproval:

As far as Twitter beefs go, this one is tame, but props to the Giants for jumping at an opportunity to troll the A’s. Of course, they better hope Reddick doesn’t get his revenge at the plate when the two teams meet for a four-game series from June 27 to June 30.

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Josh Reddick Contract: Latest News and Rumors on Negotiations with Athletics

After spending the last year as sellers, the Oakland Athletics may be ready to start investing in their future with star outfielder Josh Reddick.   

According to John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, the Athletics and Reddick are ready to start discussions about a multiyear contract extension. 

Continue for updates. 

Reddick Part of Oakland’s Future

Sunday, Jan. 24

When the offseason started, Reddick’s name was suggested as a potential trade candidate because he’s scheduled to become a free agent after 2016 and the team dealt Josh Donaldson, a young superstar who was four years away from free agency, to Toronto last winter. 

In November, Oakland general manager Billy Beane told Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily he could not see the team trading Reddick or star pitcher Sonny Gray. 

Earlier this month, the A’s were able to avoid going to arbitration with Reddick by signing him to a one-year deal worth $6.575 million. The 28-year-old has had an erratic four-year run in Oakland, but he’s been very good at his best. 

Reddick missed a combined 101 games in 2013-14 and hit a total of 24 home runs as a result. In 2012 and 2015, he played a total of 315 games with 52 home runs and posted a career-high .333 on-base percentage last season. 

The Athletics might be able to convince Reddick to accept a team-friendly deal because of his injury concerns, promising him financial security and a stable environment. But he could opt to bet on himself, hoping to have another strong season in 2016 and put himself in position to get a huge deal. It’s a risky proposition that may have a resolution, one way or the other, before the regular season begins on April 4. 

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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for August 13

The 2015 MLB season continues to roll along with less than two months before October. Most daily fantasy owners have likely gotten into a groove at this point, but the names at the top of lists are constantly changing.

Some players have risen to the task in August, while others have fallen off under the pressure of a playoff push. Ahead of Thursday’s slate of games, here’s a look at some studs and duds for August 13.



Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs ($10,800)

That massive investment by the Chicago Cubs in the offseason is finally starting to pay off. As October approaches, Lester is starting to turn it on with two runs or less allowed in his last four starts. Three of those happened to come at Wrigley Field, which is where the Cubs will play on Thursday.

Not to mention, Lester is facing off against the lowly Milwaukee Brewers. With an average of two runs scored over the last five games, it seems pretty obvious that Lester should put up similar results. At $1,400 less than Sonny Gray, Lester is an affordable ace for owners to target.


Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers ($4,500)

Prince Fielder’s comeback season just keeps on going with another hot stretch recently. Over his last 10 games, Fielder is averaging over 10 fantasy points with five extra-base hits, including two homers.

Oh, let’s also note that he has a perfect matchup on Thursday.

Ervin Santana has struggled in his last three starts, allowing 19 runs over that stretch with his last outing ending after 2.1 innings. Fielder holds a .444 on-base percentage against Santana with three home runs and a double. If you aren’t convinced by now, maybe this isn’t for you. Fielder is a lock.


Michael Cuddyer, New York Mets ($3,400)

In order to afford the Jon Lesters and Prince Fielders of the world, you’ll need a value pick. Look no further than Michael Cuddyer. The New York Mets outfielder is back to the torrid pace he was on before hitting the disabled list last month.

Cuddyer’s three hits, two runs, RBI and stolen base over the last two games prove he doesn’t have any lingering effects. He’s also facing Eddie Butler, who has been horrid at the MLB level this season. The stars are aligned for Cuddyer to go off, so don’t miss this opportunity before his price goes up again.



Mat Latos, Los Angeles Dodgers ($7,200)

Most of the pitchers at the top of DraftKings‘ price sheet on Thursday are worthy of their salary. However, when looking for a pitcher to pair them up with, Mat Latos is not a formidable option. Even at $7,200, Latos is coming at too high of a price for his recent performance.

In his last two starts, Latos hasn’t fooled anyone with just one strikeout—combined. While Latos would likely love to shut down his former team, the Cincinnati Reds are simply too patient at 22nd in the MLB in strikeouts (822). Wielding bats like Todd Frazier, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, the Reds stars will get the better of their former teammate.


Josh Reddick, Oakland Athletics ($4,100)

Josh Reddick is struggling. Like, getting the bat remotely close to the ball has been a tall task recently. Over his last 10 games, Reddick has barely averaged three fantasy points and has just one game where he reached double digits.

Reddick doesn’t have a difficult matchup with Mark Buehrle on the mound, but the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher has a habit of making batters uncomfortable. His fast approach to the plate combined with Reddick‘s recent struggles are a bad omen for DraftKings owners.

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